On Campaign in Calif.

Maybe our state once reflected the American Dream. Now it exports a primal scream.

June 7, 2022: Save the date! Truth be told, I don’t save most dates. This one’s different. It’s the date of the California Primary Election, and I’m running for Governor. Again. I was a candidate in last year’s Special Recall Election that induced Gavin Newsom, our (still) sitting governor, to raise $70M to hold onto his seat. My campaign made do with $6K.

A frugal campaign doesn’t do TV adverts or glossy mailers; no star-studded rallies with pandering play lists. But even a frugal campaign does introduce itself in the Secretary of State’s Voter Guide. At $25 a word, the introduction needs to be short, never mind sweet. To the point, you bet.

After consulting with the campaign team, I decided on the following:

After 43 years here, I know California well. I represent the American Solidarity Party, and advocate for solidarity, decentralism, religious liberty, and the duties of conscience—each in light of the common good. My priority is to win legal recognition of the dignity of life at every stage. Women deserve better than abortion; the dying deserve our care, not a suicide ticket. We need to appreciate the contributions of immigrants. I champion fairness in housing, schools, and the workplace, while supporting increased home ownership, a living wage, affordable childcare, and managing our natural resources responsibly. Visit us at solidarity-party.org.

So, gentle readers, what do you think? Does it remind you of Catholic Social Thought? I hope so, because that’s what it aims to present. Never heard of the American Solidarity Party? We only got started in 2016, but we’re real and here to stay. We’re neither left nor right, neither liberal nor conservative.

We are, though, progressive in the best sense. We work to advance the common good. We do so by advocating for policies that honor the principles of solidarity, subsidiarity, and economic democracy. The common good, on our view, includes every human being. It’s not the sum of individual interests. It’s a good that we share, and only in sharing it can we flourish.

Maybe, once upon a time, California reflected the American Dream. Now it exports a primal scream. The Governor is touting the state as an “abortion sanctuary.” His plan is to help pay travel and lodging fees for out of state abortion seekers. There’s more: to offer med students money to become abortionists and give the OK for nurses to do abortions.

Our legislature has just cleared the way for 48-hour assisted suicide for the gravely ill and dropped the second opinion requirement. Since some can’t take the poison pills on their own, injections will soon be on offer.

Throwing away the preborn and the gravely ill advances the individual interests of some, but at the cost of deliberately destroying others. The culture of death directly attacks the common good. Maybe the Los Angeles Times will let our message through. Maybe even Hollywood will get it.

It’s not impossible, since both these power brokers do seem to appreciate the contribution of immigrants. They both recognize our housing crisis. And even though they fear intellectual diversity, they do welcome racial diversity. I keep looking for a stronger and stable light at the end of a long, long tunnel.

Meanwhile I am chuffed to watch the scrappy squadron of activists at the American Solidarity Party calling out the power brokers and speaking up for a creative politics that recognizes the constructive interplay of people and their communities.


Jim Hanink is an independent scholar, albeit more independent than scholarly!

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